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View Diary: Is the 2nd Amendment Really Intended as a Safeguard from Tyranny? (95 comments)

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  •  "I fear we have traded one George for another." (1+ / 0-)
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    annecros

    That was what was overheard during Washington's Inauguration. The fear was that a standing army would allow a George Washington to rule as a king, to station armies in your home's, as James the II had done.

    The Constitution would allow a National army (The whole Federalist/Anti-Federalist is a bit reversed, it you ask me. The Anti-Federalist were actually the Federalist and the Federalist were the Nationalist. But I digress.) It was a contentious idea at the time. Madison was smart. He fashioned an amendment that placated opposition, but did nothing to diminish Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16. Much in the same way the Third was intended to appeal to the old fears of a 'new George', but it did nothing to stop the new National government from build barracks, forts, and camps.

    Robert Whitehill and Patrick Henry, who were dead set against a standing army, tried to add all sorts of poison pills to kill the proposed constitution, but Madison out maneuvered them.

    After the war of 1812 the idea of the standing army was a past gone discussion. American would always have a standing army to provide for the common defense.

    Post Script, when the Spanish American War broke out the U.S. called up the militias -  and more than half of them did not even show up. The ones that did, were so poorly trained that they were more of  a danger than an asset, hence the Militia Act of 1903 setting up the National Guard.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:46:40 PM PST

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    •  That was heard during the inauguration ? (1+ / 0-)
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      se portland

      That's the best you've got. "Someone" heard "something" during the inauguration and that means that the entire process of writing the Constitution and ratifying process never happened?

      I'm fully aware of the history of how the 2nd Amendment came about, but it WAS NOT to fight against tyrannical government.

      The safeguards against that are embedded in the democracy itself, the three branches of government, the balance of powers and the bichambered congress.

      •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
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        se portland

        BTW, sorry for the tone of my previous comment. You were considerably more respectful than me. I don't know how to edit a comment to amend my tone. Apologies.

        •  There is no edit post publication (1+ / 0-)
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          se portland

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:36:10 PM PST

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        •  My father was a Republican (1+ / 0-)
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          backell

          and we use to get pretty brutal in our debates, but we always knew it was a debate of ideas, not personal. I sometimes think he is the reason I become a liberal. He wanted someone to debate, and I took up the part of the devil's advocate.

          But that said, I really, really think the Founding Fathers did not have any problem with people owning guns to hunt and self defense, that was just an accepted - duh. But the Second Amendment had nothing to do with that. It was about the 'common defense', not personal gun ownership for shooting intruders in your home, or hunting deer. Hell, they use to fight duels over points of honor. :)

          But that is not what the Supreme Court said. Whether I like it or not, they ruled that the Second Amendment grants citizens the right to own guns for personal protection. I think they are wrong, but I am not going to start an insurrection over it.

          It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

          by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:41:13 PM PST

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      •  Than you have to admit (1+ / 0-)
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        annecros

        That a militia is to defend the constitutional government, not overthrow it. The diarist is refuting, and I think rightfully so, the right to insurrection in the constitution.

        But yes I am saying there was a fear of tyrany.

        From Whitehill's discription in the Dictionary of American Biography:

        He was one of the small group which in this period fanned jealousies and suspicions of the Pennsylvania back country into an opposition which was probably the most vehement experienced by any state and nearly resulted in armed conflict... At no period of his official career did Whitehill reflect better his back-country views than as a member of the Pennsylvania convention to ratify the federal Constitution (1787). In the Assembly he sought a delay in the election of delegates ...In the convention he resorted to every device to delay and defeat ratification. He insisted that there were inadequate safeguards against a tyranny and on the day of ratification attempted, without avail, to have fifteen articles incorporated as a bill of rights.
        [Bolded text by me.]

        It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

        by se portland on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:12:58 PM PST

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